MFF 111 – Blackstage: Fashion Debut at Metaverse Fashion Week

A moment from Dolce & Gabbana’s first fashion show at MVFW-Metaverse fashion week at Decentraland (courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana)

The global fashion week agenda is poised for a revolution. And the traditional canonical sequence, with New York opening the dances and London warming up the season’s engines in view of the two main events in Milan and Paris, seems poised for another appointment. At the start of 2022, but ready to take a prominent place in the very near future, in which real and digital are increasingly predestined for dialogue. In fact, the planet of the metaverse wants to touch the fashion world more and more. And at a time when we are talking about Nft, acronym for Non-fungible token, literally an uncopyable work, that is something unique that cannot be replaced by another, and from metaverse, a term coined by Neal Stephenson in the book belonging to the cyberpunk culture snow crash from 1992, and described as a kind of virtual reality, shared via internetwhere you are represented in three dimensions by means of your avatar, the first virtual fashion week could not be missed.

to baptize her, Decentrallanddecentralized platform based on the blockchain Ethereum, in which users have the opportunity to trade by carrying out the purchase and sale of land and leisure activities. And among these leisure activities appeared the first Mvfw-Metaverse fashion week, to identify four days of completely virtual fashion and style. There were some of the first fashion houses to accept the invitation Paco RabanneDolce GabbanaEtroTommy HilfigerhorsesNicholas Kirkwood Elie Saab And Following Christ, who unveiled their digital/real-life collections by showing them on virtual catwalks. In addition to the ready-to-wear brands, a team of companies is also active in the world of accessories, from Coach until Axel Arigatoby Esther Manas until eytyshas animated the event agenda thanks to a store specially designed by the digital fashion house Republiqe together with the retailer Monnier Paris

Selfridges opened its first flagship. Last but not least, along with the well-known brands of international catwalks, the stars of the metaverse also animated the overall lineup: realities such as the manufacturerauroboros or DressX they have in fact unveiled their clothes, only virtually, thanks to digital catwalks and immersive experiences. But not alone. Because the event followed the classic pattern of a fashion week and also provided users with shopping experiences, thanks to the creation of a virtual space similar to the view of the Avenue Montaigne in Paris, where brands had the opportunity to sell items both physically and digitally. And not alone. Showrooms dedicated to streetwear and emerging talents in the Chinese scene have been created; opened a cinema showing films from Chanel And Lanvin† And in between expert lectures and art openings, there were also parties and post-défilé parties, such as that of believe connectionfor example.

In a tourbillon without boundaries between the classical past and the technological future. “Fashion and couture are not new to the metaverse. Decentraland has been one of the most fashion-conscious players since 2020, when the first avatar outfits were launched. Since then, our engineers and our creatives have worked to push the boundaries and give our wearables an ever-increasing dimension. So much so that over the course of last year, avatar wearable sales exceeded a million dollars,” he said. Sam Hamilton, creative director of the Decentraland foundation and soul of the first digital fashion week. “Offering buyable and virtually wearable items is important for the evolution of digital fashion in the metaverse. The real strength of this fashion week lies not only in the prevalence of digital experiences over physical ones, but also in the easier accessibility of the collections of luxury brands. Thanks to the metaverse, they have the opportunity to enter into a dialogue without barriers with a much wider and increasingly global audience ».

A look at the Philipp Plein fashion show at MVFW (courtesy of Philipp Plein)

But not only that, because what the metaverse seems to offer is also the dream, that is the opportunity for new generation of designers and couturiers to imagine crazy and flamboyant creations, impossible in everyday life, but real in the digital universe. Where they acquire an increasingly important place and lay the foundation for haute virtual couture. “The power of the metaverse is the dream and with it the possibility to create fantastic and incredible looks that no one could wear in real life or just imagine for the world we live in,” he clarified in an interview Gospel Bousisfounder together with Peter Dundas of the brand Dundas† Which showed a mix of recent collections and archival pieces during the MVFW, to give the end user an immersive experience, after conquering the virtual world by creating the NFT of the dress worn in the tranquility of the super bowl by Mary J Bligemade by Dundas himself.

Apart from the Metaverse fashion week, the surprising thing that falling in love with fashion for this reality is far from reality. But this time it’s not just businessmen and CEOs who are fascinated by it, ready to read in the metaverse that a new market needs to be conquered in order to perpetuate and prosper sales. What stands out is the passion of designers and couturiers, ready to seize the infinite possibilities of creativity and thinking. Domenico Dolcea And Stefano Gabbana, one of the first to seize the opportunities of the digital universe, in fact, on the occasion of their Dolce & Gabbana haute couture collection last September, they had created a series of Nft related to some of the creations that were brought onto the catwalk in the setting from Venice and partly from the Genesi collection. Auctioned with the platform unxd, grossed a record over $5.6 million. “For Dolce & Gabbana, fashion has always been an amalgamation of very distant worlds and new technologies have inspired their vision,” said the fashion house.

“When technology is at the service of people and their dreams, it becomes an even more powerful tool.” And it is precisely in this last assumption that the keywords seem poised to determine the success of the metaverse: dream and community. I dream because virtual reality seems to give designers, stylists and couturiers an Eldorado where they can best express their creativity without rules and restrictions. And then the community, because the world of digital enthusiasts is compact and destined to represent the future of fashionistas. In other words, future consumers of fashion and luxury goods. So much so that according to the latest forecasting survey of Morgan Stanley, the metaverse world could represent a more than $50 billion opportunity for luxury goods in the next decade. The race, similar to that of the prospectors of the Old West, has then begun. But by browsing the digital labyrinth, some projects have taken the international stage.

Structured and built at 360 degrees, they really seem to tell the future of digital fashion, after listening to the tips of Cathy Hackl, regarded worldwide as the godmother of the metaverse, who has always preached what the future will be “A further convergence of our physical and digital lives, which will make the internet free of screens, desks and walls to be all around us” . He was one of the first to conquer the metaverse Balenciagawhich in September last year announced its partnership with epic gamesthe creator behind the worldwide success of Fortnite, a game with 400 million users and more than $5 billion in revenue. The brand designed by demna was one of the first to launch a collection of four virtual outfits and some accessories available for Fortnite avatars, which can only be purchased through the game platform. In addition, the physical merchandise of the Balenciaga x Fortnite brand was literally sold like hot cakes (the home of barrier was one of the first to create an ad hoc department to study the metaverse and evaluate future business opportunities, ed

Hogan’s popup on Decentraland (courtesy of Hogan)

Two realities like Ralph Lauren And Gucci they worked closely with Roblox to create two immersive digital experiences. The American brand worked to give life to Ralph Lauren’s winter run, while Italian reality was led by Alessandro Michele he studied the virtual space Gucci garden with Roblox, inspired by the physical one in Florence. What if Burberrywith the project with Tencent gameslinked to the most famous Chinese online game honor of kingshas conquered the eastern world, Balmain And Olivier Rousteing together with Mattel And Barbie they registered unprecedented numbers and christened a cross project between real and digital. In addition to the clothing and accessories capsule, the house has launched three Barbie avatars, each with a complete virtual wardrobe built with the same features as the real one. A project that has sparked Rousteing fans and fans obsessed with the most famous pop in the world. In reality, the Balmain-Rousteing pairing isn’t new to the metaverse, as it has already worked with the gaming company Altava on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the creative marriage between the brand and the designer.

Above all, we can count on a designer like Rousteing, who has always been a fashion lover of the digital world, with an account ig by stellar numbers. In addition to these five stars, an outsider with great development potential and, above all, a native digital reality. This is DressX, the virtual clothing e-commerce founded by Natalia Modenova And Daria Shapovalova, which started from a simple concept. “We firmly believe that the amount of clothing produced today far exceeds what humanity needs. We are fascinated by the beauty and physical creation of a dress, but we believe there are ways to produce less in a more sustainable way. At the moment we want to develop another fashion idea with DressX. Telling that clothing can only exist in the digital universe.”

The result? A meta-wardrobe consisting of only digital clothing, NFT fashion items and augmented reality looks, which in just a year after the launch of the project has become the largest digital fashion store in the world, targeting Generation Z and millennials, who need on a new purchasing solution: digital, sustainable and affordable. Fashion therefore seems poised to write a new chapter in its history, starting a real revolution-evolution, between fashion week in the metaverse and only digital wardrobe. Which could be perfectly summed up in the founding mantra of DressX itself: Don’t shop less, shop digital fashion. (All rights reserved)

The full number MFF magazine for fashion 111 is available for consultation here

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